Packaging group Mpact rose 10.6% to R23.50 on Tuesday morning after it said its 2018 financial year earnings might be 20% higher than the prior year's. JSE-listed companies are required to issue trading statements if they expect basic and headline earnings per share (HEPS) to differ by more than 20%. The better-managed companies issue “voluntary” trading statements even if their earnings are expected to be flat. Mpact titled Tuesday's statement a voluntary trading, saying earnings “are unlikely to differ by 20% or more from the previous corresponding period”.

The group said it expected to report on March 13 that its HEPS for the year to end-December would be in the range of 15.5% and 21.6%. Growth of basic earnings per share is expected to be between 11% and 17.2%. Mpact said better trading conditions in the paper side of its business were partially offset by a decline in its plastics business. Revenue grew about 5% from the prior year's R10.1bn.

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